If someone were to hit us over the head with a stick, we wouldn’t get angry at the stick. We’d get angry at the person who hit us. And in the same way, if our partner expresses anger towards us, we shouldn’t get angry at our partner, because they are under the sway of disturbing emotions and the ignorance toward the true nature of things that is the root of that anger.
So thinking in this way, we can gear our response in a fresh way, from a more positive angle and see these moments of anger as opportunities... to shift the trajectory of the relationship in a more positive way.
If we can do that, if we can respond in new ways like that, then I think we can really stand a chance of transforming our relationship in a positive way.
~ His Holiness the 17th Karmapa
"Compassion and the Nature of Mind" Teachings at Hunter College, NYC - June 29, 2011